Lack of woman director, penalty may be ₹25 crore

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Mumbai: If listed companies have not yet complied with the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) order to have at least one woman director on their boards by April 1, can be asked to pay a penalty of up to ₹25 crore. Besides, the capital market regulator can also take additional action under Section 11B of the SEBI Act, which gives it wide-ranging powers to act against companies flouting its orders.Last year SEBI had brought in changes to corporate governance norms and made it mandatory for companies to have an independent woman director on board.

Initially the regulator had set October 1, 2014 as the deadline but later it is extended to April 1 this year. It had also relaxed the requirement from an independent woman director to a woman director.  But about 160 of the top 500 companies (by market capitalisation) have not yet complied with the order.